Caln >> Nine days after capturing its 16th consecutive Ches-Mont boys’ track title and garnering seven gold medals at Coatesville High School, the Red Raiders continued to thrill the home crowd on the first day of the PIAA District 1 Boys’ Track & Field Championships.
Coatesville senior Jared Elters, the defending District 1 AAA champion in the 110 meter hurdles, had the second-fastest time in Friday’s trials (14.74) a week after capturing his thrd consecutive Ches-Mont League title with a clocking of 14.56. The University of Pennsylvania-bound Elter’s finish in the preliminaries was an improvement over last year at Districts, where he placed fourth in trials (15.21) before posting a winning 14.79 in the final.
Red Raider junior Naheem Moore, who finished fifth at last year’s Districts in the Class AAA triple jump with a mark of 45-06.25, moved up one spot this year, placing fourth in the finals with a mark of 45-00.50.
Coatesville junior Eric Kirk, who finished seventh in last year’s Districts in the Class AAA 100 meter dash (11.05), had the second-best time in Friday’s preliminaries with a clocking of 10.93, trailing only last year’s district champ, Sayyid Saunders of Harry S. Truman High School (10.66).
Kirk had plenty of Chester County company among the 16 runners who will be advancing to Saturday’s competition in the Class AAA 100 meter dash, including Downingtown East senior Brassir Stocker (11.01), Avon Grove junior Jeffrey Billig (11.05), Coatesville senior Roland Miles (11.06) and Downingtown West sophomore Terrence Gainer (11.07).
Bishop Shanahan’s versatile senior, Rick Zink, who was part of the Eagles’ state-qualifying 4×100 and 4×400 relay teams last year, ran the second-fastest time in the Class AAA 200 meter dash preliminaries Friday, behind only Sayyid Saunders (21.04), who placed second at Districts last year. Zink also finished with the second-fastest time in the Class AAA 400 meter dash prelims (49.03), behind Pennridge’s Anderson Dimon (48.83)
“I thought my best race today was the 200 – I was driving hard,’ said Zink. “My [overall] goal today was to get out strong on each race, stay smooth and conserve my energy as much as possible, because I’m running four races today.”
Of the 16 runners in the Class AAA 200 meter dash trials who advanced to Saturday’s competition, two were Chesco runners – Zink and West Chester East senior Jared Cooper.
Just behind Zink in the 400 meter dash trials were Conestoga senior Lex Forge (49.19) and Unionville senior Brett Wagner (49.20).
“This race was an upgrade for me,” said Forge. “Every year, my training gets me [faster] by another second or two. I got in that final stretch today, and I thought, ‘I guess I can pull this off.’”
In the Class AAA 1,600-meter run preliminaries, Downingtown West senior Evan Kaiser had the fastest time (4:23.53).
Four Chesco 110 meter hurdlers advanced from Friday’s trials to Saturday’s competition – Elters (14.74), West Chester East junior Charlie Webb (14.98), Downingtown West sophomore Ethan Robinson (15.34) and D-West junior Tawo Ayambem (15.35). The 6-foot-4 Webb also had the fifth-best time (39.98) in Friday’s 300 meter hurdle preliminaries.
The Downingtown East quartet of Quaran Brown, Zach DeLone, Dan Andris and Camari Stocker had the second-fastest time in the Class AAA 4×100 relays (42.74). Brown and Andris were part of the Downingtown East 4×100 relay that finished second at States last year with a clocking of 42.05.
Brown said, “It was cold and windy out there today; the tape wouldn’t stick to the track, but we [persisted].”
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